Republican Catherine Cooke is running for her third term on the Brunswick County Board of Education, representing District 2. She’s challenged by Democrat Sharon Woodard Crawford. The two candidates are split on the topic of the $152 million school bond.
The last Brunswick County school bond was passed in 1999, and there’s still some remaining debt to be paid off. The new bond proposal would pay for the construction of Town Creek Middle School, an early college high school, and new classrooms.
Catherine Cooke does not support the bond. She thinks the schools could use or repurpose other buildings within the county to provide more space for students:
"Because we’re still paying on the old bond—and I know we don’t have a lot to pay off of it—I just felt like it was better to get that paid down a little bit more and then look at it. A bond probably is in the future, but I would just prefer to look at it another two years down the road."
According to Brunswick County Schools, the tax impact of the old bond debt combined with the new school bond would be about $80 a year for a $200,000 home. Sharon Woodard Crawford says that’s a small price for educational improvements:
"So, I mean, you’re going to have children neglected in the educational experience because of $80. Really? I think we need to go ahead and take care of this matter while we have it instead of saying that these children need to go ahead and suffer these next two or three years until this debt is paid off. I think that’s uncalled for."
Brunswick County voters will make a decision on the bond—and on their Board of Education members—next Tuesday.